Under Fathered, Over Mothered Worship

This short video deals with the topic I previously discussed in my Feminine Worship post. In the video popular song writer and worship leader Matt Redman discusses why some worship songs aren't for the blokes. In the video Matt is very transparent about some of his lyrics and thinks that today he might have used some different words.


  1. Well, guess this is blunt, but. . .perhaps this "feminized" worship balances out the heavy masculinity of leadership in the church.
    I feel uncomfortable with most churches because I think they defy the Holy Spirit by not allowing women in senior leadership positions.
    I know you're not one of those church people, KB, but maybe this is the way the HS tries to even things out.

  2. I'm interested in what you consider "the heavy masculinity of leadership in the church" Karen. Are you saying that men who won't allow women to lead are "masculine"? My experience tells me that masculine men are not intimdated by strong women leaders.. actually they seek them out. Weak men on the other hand pander to women instead of helping them to develop in leadership.

    Hope I didn't get in trouble here.. my main concern in this post is that men are turned off by the language used in some of our church services. As I told one of my buddies last week: I am not Jesus' girlfriend! :)

    Blessings, Bob

  3. I probably didn't word that right, however, those men who do not seek out women as leaders do indeed think of themselves as very masculine. That doesn't mean that they are strong men, though. Your church aside, KB, most churches are heavy on the guy side. I was making the statement that, worship music aside, I'm terribly uncomfortable in the body of most churches. So, it goes both ways in different ways.

    My point is that throughout history there has been a pattern of women in leadership, then the "institution" comes to play and women are out and then over and over again. Maybe the HS manifests in some of these worship songs, creating a balance, however uncomfortable it may be for some of you. Maybe it's the feminine coming through.
    Maria L. Boccia says this: When leadership involved the charismatic choice by God of leaders through the gifting of the Holy Spirit, women are included. As time passes, leadership is institutionalized, the secular patriarchal culture filters into the Church, and women are excluded. ("Hidden History of Women Leaders of the Church")

    What I'm saying is that worship music is usually (hopefully!) inspired by the Holy Spirit, yes? I think so, and it's generally of a charismatic nature--it is moving, worshipful, prayerful, a spiritual offering to God.

    I hope I'm making some sense here. Maybe not. When things are more charismatic and spiritual, they tend to invite all to the table; when they get rigid or institutionalized, things change.

    BTW, I'm not Jesus' girlfriend, either! ;-)

  4. Still didn't say it right.
    How about the worship balances out "Over-Fathered, Under-Mothered"
    churches? ;-)

  5. What about churches that fully embrace women in ministry.. even some that are led by female senior pastors.. do you think that the HS balances things out with masculine worship in those churches?

    I think that the songs that Matt Redman speaks of in the video are/were influenced by a particular understanding of the relationship between Jesus and the believer. It is an influence that repels some men.. but that could just be an excuse.. maybe a little of each?

  6. On your first comment; maybe. I would hope that those churches that are led by women would have the balance of men in leadership as well. No balance is not good. I just haven't seen a church where the women are more in charge to see if they are pounding out "Onward Christian Soldiers" at worship or not. ;-)

    I think maybe Matt Redman was indeed influenced by the Spirit with those songs, and now that folks are questioning him, he's questioning his revelatory experience. It seemed like a good idea at the time?
    Sorry to hijack your post, KB! :-(

  7. Love God, love your neighbor. From afar, it's easy to picture Jesus as a tie-dyed, long-haired guy from the 60's... playing his guitar and singing songs of love. Not someone, as Matt says, the blokey-blokes would want to hang out with.

    The more you get to know Jesus, you see this man of strength and courage and conviction. As a carpenter, he may have been a strong and imposing person in the flesh, too -- able to stand up to leaders and overthrow tables in the temple. You don't get too many songs about that guy, though.

  8. "You don't get too many songs about that guy, though."

    Great observation Ed! It gets to the heart of my post.

  9. Hi Karen,

    About: "questioning his revelatory experience"

    As a 30+ year charismatic I have learned that revelation is sometimes incremental and that, over time, is changed as we grow closer to the Lord and learn to better discern His voice. I look back and can now understand that some of these revelations were part of the problem and insulated me from God instead of drawing me closer to Him. Could just be my experience though.. you may be right about Redman?

    Blessings, Bob

  10. This is a nice video.

    I lead contemporary worship at a church full of many people afraid of intimacy in worship. I think that's maybe why I accepted the job, knowing that contemporary worship is about being more intimate in your relationship with Christ. (I either wanted a challenge or am a masochist... you pick). After seven years of doing the job, I still struggle with finding it, but balance IS possible. There are a lot of great songs out there that have a good amount of theological meat with intimate-type lyrics. (A must admit, though, not a single song on my set list has "I am so in love with you" lyrics or the like.) I have no trouble with those kinds of words, I just have yet to come across a worship song with "love" lyrics that fits my picky set of rules.

    All that said, I think it's difficult to articulate an agape type of love, no matter who you are.

  11. I don't know, KB. I assume worship songs are inspired by something, I would hope, the HS. I can't place a measurement on anyone's experience but my own.


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